Justifying music?

May 23, 2019 by Joshua
in Blog

I just got back from seeing (and hearing) my niece perform in her junior high school orchestra.

On the back of the music program, a section described the value of learning music — not how great learning music was, but how music developed skills and prepared students for other things in life, like math.

What happened to us as a culture that anyone feels compelled to justify learning music in terms of something else, or anything else? How is it not obvious that music stands as its own value?

On the one hand I know I don’t have to worry about music going away. It’s part of being human. But who felt compelled to describe how music had value? How did they not consider its value intrinsic?

Is something only valuable if it leads to a job?

Even with a background in science and business — fields that disparage people who don’t measure up or contribute — I consider learning music critical to an education. Not music theory, history, or appreciation, though I value them, but performing.

Practicing performing in any area helps you perform in every area, as Kobe Bryant showed by winning an Oscar.

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